The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Dam Safety Program uses a risk-informed approach to manage its portfolio of 694 dams, with public safety the number one priority. This robust risk-informed approach is a best practice adopted to develop balanced and informed assessments of the safety of our dams and to evaluate, prioritize and justify dam safety decisions.
Of these dams, the Detroit District Dam Safety Program presides over the Soo Locks complex. The Complex consists of four navigation locks (MacArthur, Poe, Davis and Sabin Locks), two hydropower units and a Compensating Works structure. All the Complex features, as well as the connecting dikes, function as a dam.
Critical to an effective safety program is focus on public safety, but it also is continuous and periodic project inspections and evaluations. The Dam Safety Program seeks to ensure that USACE owned and operated dams do not present unacceptable risks to people, property or the environment, with the emphasis on people.
USACE, in cooperation with the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, the states and territories, and federal dam-regulating agencies, maintains the National Inventory of Dams Database as the resource for dam information for all dams nationwide. This database is not inclusive of USACE dams. This user friendly database is available to the public at the National Inventory of Dams link to the left. For more information on the USACE Dam Safety Program, please visit the Headquarters Dam Safety Program link to the left.